FAQ - GENERAL INFORMATION
Q. Where do I obtain legal forms necessary to bring a case to court?
A. Most forms are obtained from the Clerk of Courts Office located in the courthouse. Many forms are free or a nominal cost, but there will most likely be filing fees. Forms may also be found on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access - Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) via the internet.
Q. I have papers to serve on a person. Where do I bring them?
A. Douglas County Sheriff's Office, located at 1316 N. 14th Street, Suite 100, in the Douglas County Government Center.
Q. How many copies do I bring with me?
A. One copy per person served is required with an official court stamp on them for each person served. In most cases, an original file stamped copy is required.
Q. Can I fax or email papers to be served?
A. In most cases, no. Wisconsin requires an original file-stamped copy to be served. In addition, pre-payment is required. (If your papers are out of Wisconsin jurisdiction, it is up to you to know what your state requires for service). In addition, prepayment is required on all services.
Q. Can you help me fill out my court papers?
A. No. The Sheriff's Office will only check papers to make sure they are legible (readable) and accurate.
Q. Can I call someone with a legal question?
A.The Sheriff's Office is not allowed to give legal advice of any kind whatsoever. You may contact an attorney for legal advice . If you cannot afford an attorney, you may call Wisconsin Judicare Incorporated at 715-842-1681, to see if you qualify for their services.
Q. Why can't you just go to the person's workplace and serve them the papers there?
A. Many employers request that we do not come to their company for the purpose of serving papers. Serving papers at a company often results in loss of production for the company. The person receiving the papers may become emotional, and the company does not have the resources to deal with this type of situation. Additionally, the actual job site that the employee is at may be different from the company's headquarters, and locating the employee may be difficult. If serving at an employer is desired, it is up to you to 1) obtain permission from the employer to serve, 2) obtain the name of the supervisor/manager, 3) have a telephone number for that supervisor/manager, and 4) know the hours of work for the employee. The Sheriff's Office will not serve at a place of employment without the permission and information.
Q. I don't have a recent address for the person I want served papers. Will the Sheriff's Department tell me where the person lives?
A.No. The Sheriff's Department will not provide an address. You will need a current, physical address in order for us to attempt service.
Q. I know the person will be at a specific location at a specific time. Can you serve them there?
A. We will attempt to accommodate this, but it can be very difficult to "schedule" an officer to be somewhere at a specific time. There is a high probability that we will not be able to accomplish the service in this manner.
Q. I need the person served the papers right away. Can you serve the papers immediately?
A. The Civil Process Unit handles around 2000 annually. While we attempt to serve papers as efficiently as possible, we cannot promise or guarantee that a paper will be served immediately or in a specific time period. We suggest that you allow us sufficient time to locate and serve the person their papers.
Q. The Civil Process Information Sheet asks for specific information I am not sure of. What do I do?
A. Answer the questions as completely as you can. All information you provide helps us to serve the papers as efficiently as possible.
Q. Why can't you give the papers to someone else when you first go to the house?
A. There are many types of legal papers. Some papers require "personal" service meaning the papers must be served on the person who's named on the papers. Other papers can be given (substitute service) to someone else at the residence after three attempts to serve the person who's named on the papers. Speak with someone in the Civil Process Unit if you have further questions.
Q. Why can't you put the papers in the mailbox or between the doors?
A. They must be served personally, or in some cases can be substituted on a person (over the age of 14) who lives at the residence.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at 715-395-1432.